NEWPORT County’s Mike Flynn has expressed his delight at staying with the club he loves.
The popular midfielder, 33, was all set to leave Rodney Parade, despite his desire to stay.
He was informed early in 2014 that he’d become surplus to requirements and when the news was leaked, boss Justin Edinburgh was forced to confirm publically that Flynn and David Pipe would be exiting.
However, a string of top class performances prompted a dramatic U-turn from Edinburgh, though club captain Pipe was still released and subsequently signed for Forest Green Rovers.
But Flynn is staying not just as a player, but as a coach, with Edinburgh set to confirm Flynn in a key role, overseeing both the County academy and helping out with the newly-formed reserve team.
It’s an incredible outcome for a man whose future has been uncertain for months and Flynn can’t hide his delight.
“Everything is agreed, nothing is signed and sealed but in my mind it’s done, I had a fantastic meeting with the gaffer earlier this week,” Flynn told the Argus.
“I’ve got to give him so much credit, because he was a big enough person to put his hands up and say ‘I’ve changed my mind, I might have made a mistake’ and not many managers would do that.
“He’s been brilliant with me, there has never been a falling out and ultimately, I’m just utterly delighted to be staying.”
Flynn has already met the members of the County academy and their parents this week but has revealed he still expects his playing career to be his most prominent role next season.
“The gaffer has explained that first and foremost, if I’m required for games with the first team, that’s the priority and I’m pleased because I still think I’ve got a lot to give in that regard.
“In my own mind I will probably still be a footballer three years after I retire and while I can still produce on the pitch, that’s exactly what I intend to do.”
And on his coaching aspirations he commented: “I have completed all the courses apart from the A license and I should have completed that by August,” he said.
“I’ve had a meeting this week with the academy lads and the parents and to be honest, it did feel a bit strange, to be in that position of responsibility.
“But I see it as a natural progression and the fact the gaffer has that faith in me, it’s a brilliant feeling.”
Flynn has also back Edinburgh’s decision to re-sign defender Darren Jones.
The ex-Shrewsbury and Wimbledon man left the Exiles nearly a decade ago after receiving a short prison sentence and has played the majority of his career since in Leagues One or Two. He joins the Exiles from AFC Wimbledon.
“Darren is a great signing for us, I’m thrilled,” Flynn said.
“I’ve known Darren a long time and his troubles in the past have made him a better person.
“As a player I’ve had plenty of battles with him and he’s one of those defenders you’d much rather have on your side than against you.
“He’s strong, he’s aggressive, competes for everything and that scares a lot of attackers.”